20.5.18

NOT QUITE A NATIONAL RAIL NETWORK?

My recent brief encounter with the French railroads was a diesel rail car, Cherbourg to Bayeux.


The electrification is for the service to Paris.  There are no TGV trains running to Cherbourg.

Again, my luck is with me.  The intermittent job actions French railroaders are staging included the 26th and 27th of April, not the 25th.  Perhaps it was the round of Blue Ribbons I bought in Chicago, or perhaps the bottle of wine the travel agent stood me to, that I shared at table shipboard on the first formal night, that kept the Gods of the High Iron smiling on me.  Vacationers day-tripping out of Paris for the various Normandy destinations were not so lucky.

When it runs, though, the French passenger rail service is primarily a Paris-centered service.  A number of the regional lines are long gone.  For example, the station at Bernières-sur-mer is now the tourist office.


We did the same thing at Woods Hole, with the same results.  The French refer to the Normandy landings as le choc, and on high summer days the traffic through the seaside towns, such as Bernières, at the centre of the Canadian effort on JUNO, likely is shocking.  The regional rail can be convenient.

The good news is, we've rediscovered rail travel to Old Orchard Beach and parts of the Jersey Shore, and perhaps Floridians will do so.

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